[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The application process is now open for the Constable Fund Grants for the 2014-2015 cycle.
The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of the Episcopal Church General Convention/Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).
Anne Watkins, an Executive Council member from the Diocese of Connecticut and chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, noted recent Constable Grants have ranged from $5,000 to $200,000
Applications can be submitted by: (1) a programmatic office of the DFMS; (2) one of the General Convention CCABs (committee/commission/agency/board); or (3) one of the Provinces of the Episcopal Church.
Specific guidelines, suggestions, application form and timetable are available here.
Deadline for applications is November 1. Grants will be reviewed in December and recommendations forwarded to the Executive Council for action at its January 2015 meeting. Recipients will be notified at the close of that meeting.
Named for Miss Constable
The Constable Grants were named for Miss Mary Louise Constable, who was a visionary philanthropist. Watkins pointed out, “Hers is an example of faithful witness and generosity in response to an obviously mature and deep understanding of herself as both a disciple of Jesus Christ and as a steward of the blessings bestowed upon her by God.”
In 1935, in the midst of economic catastrophe known as the Great Depression, Miss Constable made a monetary gift to the Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951.
Watkins further explained, “Stipulations for use of the fund were also visionary and generous, recognizing in and trusting those who came after her to comply with her wishes while allowing them flexibility in order to carry the mission of God through God’s Church forward into new eras.”
The language of Miss Constable’s will states that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.”
“It is the desire of the Executive Council Constable Fund Review Committee that Miss Constable’s example of stewardship, generosity, flexibility, and creativity be values that continue to be honored,” Watkins concluded.